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Krebs: Sinfonien & Sonaten / Leipziger Concert

Notes & Reviews:

"Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-80) may be best known today as one of Bach's pupils and as the composer of organ works and cantatas more or less reminiscent of his teacher. He is less famous for his chamber music. Here we have two of his sinfonias, a sonata for violin and harpsichord, and three trio sonatas played with flutes and violins. The pitch is A equals 415. I mistrust the word transitional-it always seems to evade the responsibility to say what something is and say instead what it isn't. But it is hard to think of a better way to describe these works. In the trio sonatas especially, one feels well grounded in the world of Bach, Handel, Rameau, and so forth, but every so often there is a sudden strong whiff of clarity and rationality from the classical period, and then it is gone again. The sinfonias are more the other way around: essentially string quartets, and harmonically structured like the 18th- Century quartets we know, but with continuo constantly reminding us that it's not quite Haydn either. In all, Krebs is a useful reminder that the separateness of baroque and classical styles is belied by a lot of music that we don't often hear. The Leipzig Concert has, as the liner notes explain, been playing Bach and Schütz for some years, and they bring a great deal of sympathetic experience with earlier styles to this midcentury repertory-as, of course, did the musicians who played it in the first place. The performances are persuasive and the sound is gorgeous." -ARG


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